Crocheting for Dora

I didn’t mention Dora until I got her, but during the searching process, I was pretty stressed (as you can probably imagine). What if we couldn’t find the right dog? I’ve ever picked a dog for service dog training before. What if it took too long? Or came too fast? What if I wasn’t ready? What if all the dogs we liked didn’t work out?

I needed to channel the stress into something, and with winter, it wasn’t going to be exercise. 😅 So I started making a dog blanket. I took it to bog of my family Christmases. (Aside- good idea. It allowed me to be present but not idle and not involved with the group activity. Everyone was fine with me working on a creative project instead of playing cards. I may have to do this again.)

At this point, I’m nearly done, and here it is so far:


I’m using up my leftover yarn from old projects and cleaning out my yarn stash. Dora will probably be fine with it regardless of the colors. Here’s a size reference:


At this point, I’m ready to be done with it, so I’m pushing ahead as quickly as I can. I’m so, so close to using up the yarn scraps.  I’m looking forward to starting something else soon. That should be pleasant.

For anyone interested: I’m using a variety of weight 4 acrylic yarns with a size H hook and a 1.5 stitch that I developed when teaching myself to crochet. No matter what stitch I try to use, I seem to end up back at this familiar one.

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Update: Crochet

It’s been a while, but I’m alive and crawling through my hurricane, so all is not lost. I thought maybe I should throw a few update entries out to the wind, if only to acknowledge to myself that I am making progress on things.

Learning to Crochet


Here’s that water bottle sling again. The strap and the net both stretch like mad if there’s a full bottle inside. Maybe I shouldn’t have made it bigger after all. 😏 Live and learn.


Slouchy hat and the first actual glimpse of me on this blog. I sized this one up for the kids’ dimensions too, and then decided to use up the end of the yarn since there wasn’t much left. Poof! Slouchy hat was born.


Slouchy hat #2 came out of my eager pride over finishing the first hat. Immediately, I texted a friend with pics and asked if she wanted a hat. Yes, she did. Within 24 hours of buying the yarn, she had a hat. Bam.


Ok. This project was a freestyle one for me. I didn’t feel like I was comfortable enough with crocheting in the round yet. I started a new circle and just didn’t stop. Add 6 stitches each round. Continue. And you get… a hexagon. Huh.


The pouch was a project from the book, but I increased the size again. Basically, I don’t have any “tiny treasures” to keep in here, so I made it big enough to contain my collection of hair accessories. The band for my basket just coordinates it with the pouch. It’s another freestyle, but it’s so so simple that it’s hardly worth mentioning.

So there we go. I have been gaining skill in this new hobby. My next project is crocheting a laptop bag and then felting it in the washing machine. It will be my first project with natural wool and my first attempt at creating felt. Wish me luck.

Learning to Crochet

Yeah. It’s exciting, I’m sure. I sort of learned how to crochet a few years ago. I made a scarf and an afghan, both of which are crooked but warm! I’ve thought about actually learning how to do this properly, so that I could make better quality items, but I’ve waited and waited.

A few days ago, my mom suggested buying a book made for kids, because they are usually full of pictures and clear descriptions. Yesterday, I bought a set of crochet hooks and this book:


So, I get points for a fast, proactive response. That’s good. (Maybe 2 points so far.)

Yesterday, I also worked through the first 35 pages and 2.5 projects. Here’s a glance at the better two so far:

Beaded Bookmark

Water Bottle Sling

I get 3 points for motivation and follow through with these projects. And! I needed to adapt the water bottle project twice in order to make it practical for larger bottles (taller net and much thicker strap), so that’s another 2 points, since it has worked out well. (Total: 7 points)

Today, I finished the water bottle sling, but I have been struggling with the next project (a beanie hat), because my normal style of crocheting is very tight. Essentially, this hat starts with a spiral line, and the smaller and closer together my lines are, the harder it is to get the correct shape and size. So I looked up a website to help me learn to make looser stitches. And I’m practicing the skill instead of getting frustrated or being elitist (read “stubborn”)! Here’s today’s work compared to yesterday’s:


That’s gotta be another 2 points, because I’ve been fighting with this for a few hours so far, but I AM making progress. (Total: 9 points)

So why does any of this matter? Because earlier in my life, I would have just talked wistfully about wanting to improve but taken no initiative (0 points), or bought the book with the intent to start “later” (2 points), or started into the book but stopped the first time that things got a bit difficult (3 points), or pushed past the initial difficulties but stopped after attempting the beanie hat 3 or 4 times (7 points). But right now? Right now, I am taking it slow, giving myself time to learn the abbreviations and techniques, accepting mistakes in stride and redoing sections for practice. I am learning. I really am. 

Is crocheting important? No. Could I live a fulfilled life without it? Absolutely. So does it matter that I am taking my time and applying myself to learn a new skill, even though it isn’t going perfectly yet? YES. This sets a precedent for learning future skills and achieving bigger goals. With each stitch and completed project, I prove to myself that I have more potential than I thought. I see myself learning and improving, and I believe in myself more.

This matters more than I can convey. I could change my life, just by tangling string in an intentional way. And that, that makes it worthwhile.